2014 was a big year for the Sharing Economy - and for us at Compare and Share! - here’s the top six highlights according to us.
Will 2015 be a an even BIGGER year for the Sharing Economy? We definitely think so.
Did we miss something you think should be on this list? Let us know on twitter or in the comments!
Highlight 6. The number of Sharing Economy businesses around the world grew, and grew, and grew! On our Directory, we are now counting over 7,500 businesses worldwide that allow us to find and share anything from spare tools to empty rooms, and even our own furry four-legged friends!
Highlight 5. Politicians across the globe took a long, hard look at the Sharing Economy, and are generally taking it very seriously - phew! In the UK, the Government commissioned a Review of the Sharing Economy which listed 30 recommendations to help establish the UK as leaders in the Sharing Economy. Key findings included: calling for a trust mark of the Sharing Economy – like Sharetrade, a trust mark developed by Compare and Share and The People Who Share.
Highlight 4. Big Business got into sharing. Avis-Budget group paved the way through their $500 million acquisition of Zipcar last year, literally jump-starting their way into the Sharing Economy. But many other companies followed suit in different ways.
Here are a few examples:
Pepsi and Walgreens both partnered with TaskRabbit in different ways. Walgreens partnership with TaskRabbit was to “allow deliveries of over-the-counter cold medicine” to customers who were sick and didn’t want to get out of bed.
In a promotional campaign for their Pepsi Next soft drink, Pepsi gave one hour of TaskRabbit services to 200 of their customers. The idea was that Pepsi would “do an hour of your chores so you have time to enjoy the unbelievable taste of Pepsi Next.
Marriott Hotels partnered with LiquidSpace to offer unused space in their facilities for entrepreneurs to use, M&S went Shwopping - give in your old clothes for cash off purchases - and B&Q promoted tool sharing via streetclub.com.
Highlight3. Controversies, controversies everywhere! It’s to be expected that a nascent phenomenon with great potential to change things around would face hurdles, and the Sharing Economy has had its fair share in 2014. From rage against specific businesses - such as Uber and Airbnb - to the growing concerns around regulation and safety risks and everything in between, the Sharing Economy has faced a number of accusations this year. Here’s a good read on the Guardian to catch-up with all the fuss from our very own Chief Sharer, Benita Matofska.
Highlight 2. Investors are starting to put money where their mouth is. In 2014, 200 Sharing Economy startups raised a total of $2 billion, with an average funding of $29 million. Interestingly, in April this year, Jeremiah Owyang calculated the total investment into sharing start-ups of “$854,500,000 or averaged as $28m a day, or about $2m an hour” (Owyang, 2014).
Equity Crowdfunding also really took off with many startups and projects finding investment they might not have accessed otherwise. At Compare and Share we did our part by making crowdfunding history for being the first to triple our investment target on an equity based platform!
So many interesting things for the Sharing Economy in 2014, but the most important one, the one that really shines is…
Highlight 1. With a reported 30% global participation in sharing services (Nielsen, 2014) a whole new generation is ready to change the world, one share at a time. ’Generation Share’ as coined by our Chief Sharer, Benita Matofska is made of 25-34 year olds choosing to access rather than own – they want to do something good while getting something they need and connect with others at the same time. Global Sharing Day in June 2014 reached over 100 million people, enabling them to discover the Sharing Economy.
That’s all for this 2014 Sharing Year in Review!
Best wishes for the Holiday Season and a Sharing New Year from everyone at Compare and Share.